HPV Vaccine for Girls

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recommends that girls between the ages of 9 and 18 receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. This vaccine protects against some strains of the human papillomavirus that increase the risk for cervical cancer.

In December 2014, the FDA approved Gardasil 9. This vaccine protects against nine types of HPV and may prevent 90 percent of cases of vulvar, cervical, vaginal, and anal cancers. Gardasil 9 is approved for use in girls and women between the ages of 9 and 26 and boys and young men aged 9 through 15.

The HPV vaccine is administered in three doses, usually beginning at 11–12 years of age. The second dose is administered 2 months after the initial dose, and the third dose is administered 6 months after the first dose. If not previously vaccinated, adolescent girls between the ages of 13 and 26 also should be immunized against HPV.

HPV Vaccine for Boys

In the February 2012 issue of Pediatrics, the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) published new recommendations on HPV vaccination in boys. The HPV vaccine is now recommended for boys ages 11 to 12 years and male teens ages 13 to 21 who have not received all three doses of the HPV vaccine. Young men ages 22 through 26 may be vaccinated as well.

According to ACIP, vaccinating males against HPV helps protect against genital warts and likely would reduce infection, disease, and cancers due to HPV in females.

Possible Side Effects of HPV Vaccines

The most common side effects of HPV vaccines tend to be mild and may include soreness, pain, fever, nausea or headache. Rarely, allergic reactions may occur. As with any medical procedure, fainting is possible, so a person should sit or lie down for 15 minutes after having the vaccination.


Brady M, et al "Recommended childhood and adolescent immunization schedules -- United States, 2012" Pediatrics 2012; 129: 385-386.

CDC. HPV Vaccine Information For Young Women - Fact Sheet. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/STDFact-HPV-vaccine-young-women.htm Accessed on February 7, 2012.

CDC. Recommendations on the Use of Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus Vaccine in Males — Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2011. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6050a3.htm Accessed on February 6, 2012.

CDC. Possible Side-effects from Vaccines. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/side-effects.htm#hpvcervarix Accessed on February 6, 2012.

Updated by Remedy Health Media

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 07 Aug 2008

Last Modified: 14 Aug 2015